|During 2016 and 2017 many new sustainable initiatives will be rolled out at each of the 52 SUPER SERIES venues, and a broader fan engagement campaign in order to raise awareness and promote a lasting legacy across sailing and the world of sport.
In 2015, the 52 SUPER SERIES and 11th Hour Racing worked closely together to create a robust sustainability plan and implement a series of initiatives to promote environmental responsibility, awareness and best practices, with the ultimate goal of protecting the health of our ocean.
“We have a great future ahead are really pleased with what we accomplished in the first year of our partnership with 11th Hour Racing. We were able to engage sailors, officials, personnel, supporters and spectators with a successful sustainability campaign, backed by a credible strategy and implementation plan,” reflects Lars Boecking, 52 SUPER SERIES Sustainability Officer.
“At 11th Hour Racing we select programs and events where we see the potential to have a long-term influence, where success is measured by the positive impact that we can track with specific metrics. The 52 SUPER SERIES has proven to be a very effective platform, where both the organizers and participants have embraced and endorsed our mission. This competitive series complements well our rich portfolio of sponsorships and grants, and we are thrilled to partner up for the next two racing seasons,” commented Rob MacMillan, 11th Hour Racing Co-Founder.
The 52 SUPER SERIES organizers have developed a pragmatic, sensible plan, which is progressively finding favour with everyone involved, as Lars Boeckingpoints out: “ We are not an advocacy group nor an environmental organisation, but a top level sporting circuit seeking to raise awareness on the importance of environmental responsibility. By embracing best practices, we can show the world of professional sport that this is a winning formula.”
The 52 SUPER SERIES sustainability plan in 2015 included many initiatives, with specific targets of improving and optimizing the following main areas of operation:
- Water usage
- Fuel usage
- Waste disposal and recycling
- Marketing and branding materials
- Cleaning and maintenance of boats and equipment
- Transport of equipment and personnel
Specific achievements included:
The adoption of water filtration systems at each venue, eliminating approximately 6,500 single-use (0.5 litre) plastic bottles over the entire season. This is a highly tangible item that sends a clear message, and was adopted by many of the competing teams. All the management team, race officials and volunteers were given a branded reusable water bottle from Laken, a Spanish company that specializes in environmentally friendly bottles and containers for drinks and food, to exceed FDA, EEC and other international standards.
All venues now have highly visible waste stations to enable easy recycling and proper disposal. These are provided by the 52 SUPER SERIES notwithstanding local provisions.
Food provisioning for all race officials and volunteers is now always supplied in environmentally friendly packaging, and procured locally. This practice has eliminated the use of approximately 3,200 plastic bags over the entire season.
Steps are being taken to reduce fuel consumption by all support boats wherever possible, encouraging shore teams to adopt responsible practices.
Each 52 SUPER SERIES team has appointed a Sustainability Ambassador to facilitate communication and implementation of the many initiatives, and to discuss and bring new ideas to the table.
The global PR effort of the 52 SUPER SERIES has delivered the sustainability messages across the event Social Media channels, and national and international press coverage, including broadcast such as Eurosport, Sports4EU and Nautical Channel.